Daily News Analysis for IAS / UPSC (22nd June, 2016)


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Super fast train between Vijayawada-Secunderabad launched

  • new superfast intercity express train between Vijayawada and Secunderabadwith just one stop.
  • train will cover a distance of 351km betweenthe two cities in less than 6 hours
  • announced to ease travel of Andhra Pradesh Government employeesto the new capital region from Hyderabad.


Andhra Pradesh village,”Mori” to be developed as ‘Smart Village’

  • Andhra Pradesh Governmentand Garwood Centre for Corporate innovation of UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business joined hands to develop the village Mori into a Smart Village.
  • Mori village in East Godavari district is known for cashew-exporting to turn ‘smart’ by mid-December 2016 using digital tools, real time information and uninterrupted internet connectivity.
  • village will be provided 24*7 powersupply, uninterrupted power supply (USP) andfibre optic connectivity. Around 1900 households will be connected with 15 Mbps link.


silver coin to mark Martyrdom Day of Banda Singh Bahadur

  • To mark the 300th Martyrdom Dayof Banda Singh Bahadur. Bahadur is regarded as the firstsovereign ruler of Punjab.
  • Banda Singh, who was born in 1670 in Rajouri, had sacrificed his life at the age of 46 to safeguard honour and tradition
  • He established his rule by defeating Mughals in 1710.


DSGMC, India Post launch Baba Banda Singh post card

  • (DSGMC), along with India Postlaunched a postal cover featuring Sikh general Baba Banda Singh Bahadur
  • to commemorate his 300th death anniversary.


South Delhi Municipal Corporation signed MoU with SECI

  • MOU, signed for a period of 2 years, comes after the Municipal Corporation has decided to go green
  • aims at generating solar power of around 10 MW on the rooftops of 440 buildings and 10MWon the spare vacant land.
  • Municipal body is likely to save Rs 6 crorefrom the expenditure incurred on power bills thus reducing the dependence on discoms.


Expert Committee set on examining Specific Relief Act, 1963 submits its Report

  • committee infused some modifications in the Act that will help in ensuring the ease of doing business.
  • To modify the approach, from damages being the rule and specific performance being the exception to specific performance being the rule, and damages being the alternate remedy.
  • To take measures that reducing the discretion granted to Courts and tribunals while granting performance and injunctive reliefs.
  • To ruminate addressing unacceptable contracts, unfair contracts, reciprocity in contracts etc., and implied terms.


Business and Economy

SBI in ‘Hall of Shame’ of banks

  • State Bank of India has been named in a Hall of Shamelist of 158 banking and financial institutions worldwide that have invested billions of dollars in enterprises making cluster bombs.
  • list was prepared by Dutch campaign group PAX Worldwide Investmentsin Cluster Munitions report.
  • maximum number of 74 banks are fromthe US, followed by China (29) and South Korea (26).


I-T department to block PAN, LPG subsidy of tax defaulters

  • to block Permanent Account Number(PAN) of wilful defaulters and their LPG subsidy and take measures to ensure that they are not sanctioned loans.
  • slew of such measures have been suggested by the tax department, to be started this financial year,
  • to curb the menace of large-scale tax avoidance and evasion.
  • also mulling to subscribe to the Credit Information Bureau Limited(CIBIL) data, on a possible payment basis, to check out the financial activities of debtors and commence action against them for recovery and freezing of assets.


Rules for premature withdrawal of PPF announced

  • New rules allowing for premature withdrawalof the Public Provident Fund (PPF) account deposit scheme account has completed five years.
  • subscriber shall be allowed premature closure of his account or account of a minor of whom he is the guardian on ground that the amount is required for treatment of serious ailments or life-threatening diseases.
  • withdrawal will also be allowed if the amount is required for higher educationof the account holder or the minor account holder, on production of documents and fee bills in confirmation of admission in India or abroad.


Tata Power wins solar project in Maharashtra

  • 30 MW solar grid connectedphotovoltaic project in Maharashtra under the National Solar Missio
  • TPREL has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) to develop the project and will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam.
  • project have been awarded in the Domestic Content Requirementcategoryunder the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) under ‘State Specific Bundling Scheme’,


Twitter buys artificial intelligence firm Magic Pony

  • Twitterhas announced to buy artificial intelligence startupMagic Pony to help it enhance video and live services on its platform.
  • London based Magic Pony which was started by entrepreneurs and Imperial College graduatesRob Bishop and Zehan Wang in 2014,


People in News

Virginia Raggi became first female mayor of Rome

  • Virginia Raggi has been elected as Rome’s first female mayor
  • Raggi lawyer and local councilor swept into Italian capital after winning 67% of the vote in a runoff ballot against the Democratic Party’s (PD) Roberto Giachetti.


Softbank president Nikesh Arora resigns

  • Softbank President and COONikesh Arora has resigned from the company with immediate effect,
  • Arora will move to an advisory role in advisory role effective July 1, 2016, and continue to support SoftBank.
  • was hired in 2014 after a decade at Google and promoted to president in June of last year.


Science and Technology

China’s Sunway TaihuLight named world’s top supercomputer

  • Chinese supercomputerusing domestic chip technology named Sunway TaihuLight with 93 petaflop/second speed was declared as the world’s fastest supercomputer.
  • System was publicized in the TOP500 list of supercomputersreleased at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt,
  • list topped by China leads with 167 systems and the USA is second with 165.
  • Asian share of 218 systems, up from 173 in November 2015, includes 8 supercomputers owned by Indian-based organizations.
  • TaihuLight is encompassed of some 41,000 chips, each with 260 processor cores.
  • This makes for a total of 10.65 millioncores, compared to the 560,000 cores in America’s top machine.


FSSAI bans use of potassium bromate

  • Food Safety Standards Authority of Indiahas banned use of potassium bromate as a food additive
  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study that found its presence in bread causing cancer.
  • CSE observed that 84 per cent of 38 commonly availablebrands of pre-packaged breads, including pav and buns, tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate.
  • These are banned in many countries and listed as hazardousfor public health.


HP launches the world’s thinnest laptop

  • claimed to be the thinnest in the world by the US-based firm. With a thickness of 10.4mm, it’s thinner thanboth the12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Air.
  • cutting edge svelte dimensions, the company has decided to go all out with its latest top-end laptop, and the Spectre 13 is the first to sport its new logo forthe premium range.
  • It has been priced starting at 1,19,990 in India.


Mars crater named after Nepal quake-hit village Langtang

  • Langtang which is also a popular trekking site that was worst hit by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
  • In the Earthquake at-least 215 people were killedin Langtang when the April 25 quake triggered an avalanche that swamped the village.
  • Astronomical Union has now named a 9.8 km (six mile) wide crater on Mars as Langtang.



Andy Murray wins record 5th Queen’s title

  • Andy Murraydefeated Milos Raonic of Canda by 6-7 (5/7),  6-4 and 6-3 managed to retain the Queen’s title and
  • Queen’s Club Championships is an annual tournament for male tennis players, held on grass courts at the Queen’s Club in West Kensington, London.
  • This is the 5th time he has won the title.



Indian war heroes honoured in UK digital archive

  • a new digital archive telling the exciting stories of war heroes, including six Indians, as part of government’s centenary celebrations to mark World War I.
  • can be accessed through the official gov.uk portal.
  • 175 men from 11 overseas countries were
·         War Heros ·         State
·         Risaldar Badlu Singh ·         Punjab
·         Sepoy Chatta Singh ·         Uttar Pradesh
·         Naik Darwan Singh Negi ·         Uttarakhand
·         Rifleman Gabar Sing Negi ·         Uttarakhand
·         Lance-Daffadar Gobind Singh ·         Rajasthan
·         Lance Naik Lala ·         Himachal Pradesh
  • awarded Britain’s highest awardfor valour, the Victoria Cross (VC), during the war.